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Work Log 3

Mears Spitfire

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01/01/2006  Today I removed the port landing gear motor to cut out fuse metal restricting the movement of the motor and preventing the emergency cable a smooth operation. Then started to install the instrument panel. If I was a pro airplane builder, I would have done this while the fuse was on the ground. Working inside the cockpit is for smaller and younger folk. It about wore me out! I was in and out of that thing about 15 times, and all I was doing was fitting the aluminum instrument panel. Another ten minute job took a couple of hours. (388.5hrs)
 

1/02/2006  Well spent two and half hours on plane tonight. But 30 Min. don't count. I spent that time looking for my step bit that I used just yesterday. Tore my shop up cause it was pissin' me off that I couldn't find it. Finally just gave up and went to bed. Did manage to get the left gas shock bracketed on. Maybe I'll find that frickin' bit tomorrow, (390.5hrs.)

1/03/2005  Well the garage gremlins were still at work tonight. I started looking for my step bit again tonight. Started in the little drill bit box where I relentlessly always put the step bit, drill bits, de-burrer, and counter sinks. Not there...I spend 30 min turning everything over looking for the damn thing. Keep going to the drill bit box cause I just cant believe I didn't put it back there. About the 6th time I go to the drill bit box...there it is...DAMN!   How do I miss that? I dug around in that box at least 3 times. Had to just laugh at myself....I'm a dumbass 
So I use my fresh found bit and drill my hole in the rib for the gas strut. Mount the brackets and the large bracket on the gear leg. Another case of...If I would have done this on the bench it would have taken about 30 min. But since I've mounted my gear....It was about an hour. Try to install the other side tomorrow (391.5hrs)

1/04/2006   Mounted the starboard gas strut. Took the wiring harness out of the box and started installing it. Real nice harness. Comes from Supermarine complete, even switches. Am real impressed. And glad I didn't have to build it. (394hrs)

1/05/2005   Mounted some more wiring harness. Routed the wires down through the fuse and the wing stubs. Mounted the micro switches and the adjustment bolts on the port landing gear. (396hrs)

1/08/2006  Found a couple of rubber booties in electrical bag. Don't know what they are. They do a 90 degree bend and are about the diameter of the exit hole in the fuse for the wiring harness. So I decide its the grommet for the wiring harness. So I cram all the wires through it. Kinda like stretching a gnats ass over a door knob! Harness is tied together with hundreds of zip ties. They're cut off so they're all sharp, and hang on everything on the planet. Nevertheless, its done. Finished the starboard switches for the landing gear. riveted in the anchor nuts for the dash panel. Now I must get with Supermarine for some wiring questions not covered in the manual. (403hrs)

1/15/2005  Assembled the console box for the radios and trial fit. (406hrs)

1/16/2005   built the breaker holder to fit in cockpit. Installed power bar to all breakers. (408hrs)

1/19/2005  Finished mounting the breaker box. Finally decided where to mount my RWS EM2 and cut the dash hole for it. Its gonna look great! Cut the hold in the fuse for same. That was tough to get to. Put a fresh coat of flat black on dash since I messed it all up cutting the EM@ hole. (411hrs)

1/22/2006  Spent most of the day on the Spit today. Mounted the dash. Permanent I hope. Installed all the switches in the dash. Wired the flap motors and they are working. Wired the port landing gear motor and made adjustments to micro switches. Works great! A word of warning though. First of all, the wiring harness is made to the right length to be kind of a no-brainer of its installation. I noticed right off the bat that the port and starboard harness was marked opposite. But since they both operate both motors I wasn't any big deal anyway. They could be interchanged. So I just hook them up by the way the harness is built and its no problem. But! When I got to the landing gear switches, it was a different story. Both port and starboard switches share some the same wire colors. There's six wires in each bundle marked for a port switch and a starboard switch. When I wired mine as it was bundled. it popped the breaker. I ended up switching the blue/red wires from the starboard bundle to the port bundle and then two others. I'll update this in the next couple of days and get all the wire colors correct. I wrote it down in the shop but forgot to bring it home. Once again it don't sound like I've done much, but with me doing it, I walked around the plane 500 times with a test light just checking everything out and getting it right. When I ask Supermarine how to wire the flap motor and gear motor (wire color changes and its not on wiring diagram) They said to just do it trial and error. I don't like that answer, and it takes lots of extra time, but that's the way I did it and it turned out OK. Now if the starboard side works as well too. That wont be till about Thursday though. I made progress...and I'm beat. (420hrs)

1/24/2005  Wired the starboard landing gear motor. Set the stops. Works like a champ. I'm just shickled titless!!!!  (421hrs)

1/29/2005  Today I rigged the rudder cables and adjusted the rudder pedals to fit me. Tried to crimp the rudder cables, but apparently have the wrong equipment to do it. There "kinda" crimped. So I gotta find another crimper of some kind. I got in and out of the cockpit area about 30 times...then in and out of the fuel tank area 8 or 9 times. Wore my ass out getting in and out of there! Did trial mount the console and wired up my camera. All that looks great. I'm trying my best to think of something else I accomplished in 6 hours of hard work....but I guess that's it. (427hrs)

1/31/2005   Vacuumed out the fuse. Got rid of all the aluminum fileings. Installed most of the missing rivets in the stab, elevators, and fin. (428.5hrs)

2/07/2005  Cleco'd on the rest of the turtle deck. Drilled the passenger glass. (430.5hrs)

2/08/2006  Remove the turtle deck again because I forgot to tighten up the seat belt bolts. Then re-install the turtle deck. Drill, dimple, counter sink, paint, trim, trial fit, trial fit, trial fit, back glass and last turtle deck. Build some aluminum trim for the inside. Its all prepared to install and rivit, but I'll wait till next session. I will have to use silicone sealer and one I start...I cant stop till I'm finished. (432.5hrs)
2/12/2006  Spent the weekend in Granbury Texas and the Rotor fest. That's a get together of all the rotor heads putting Mazda motors in their airplanes. Got to meet many of the names I e-mail for information. Bill and Linda were fantastic host and really put on a great show and had EXCELLENT food! I really learned a lot of information and had a great time! Tracy Crook even showed up. That's the guy that builds the equipment I'm using. (Engine computer, engine monitor, and re-drive unit) Got back home about 4:30 and started on plane at 5:00.
Put silicone on the side windows and cleco'd them in. Then cleco'd the assembly to the fuse. Started riveting the turtle decks on. Got the rear one done and about half of the next one up done. Started cuttin' the dash for some other instruments. Don't sound like much, but worked steady for 4 hours. (434.5hrs)

2/13/2006  Rivited the rest of the turtle deck. Got about 50 rivets in the glass and frame. (436hrs)

 

2/16/2006  Spent about 2 hours drilling out the rivits on the rear glass frame. Didn't like the fit around the front turtle deck. Note to self...if it don't look good with clecos...it ain't gonna look any better with rivits. Will either have to cut slots in the frame for use a shrinker. Will do one or the other Sunday. (438hrs)

 

2/19/2006 Took the back glass assembly to a buddy to use his shrinker in the trailing edge. Shrunk it up and re-installed it on the fuse. Looks much better. Spent the rest of the day studying the manual about the canopy. It must be cut, and I damn sure don't want to mess that up. Finally cut it (7 or 8 times to fit) and am satisfied that it might be right. The front molding is kinda formed to fit. Sure looks like to me its formed backwards. As a matter of fact, I'm sure it is. I've been re-bending it by had for hours the other way and it's starting to fit. But it will have to go to by buddy's place sometime this week to use the shrinker on it too.(442hrs)

 

2/26/2006  Cut, re-cut, filed and fitted canopy leading edge. Several hours of fitting being so careful not to cut too much. That would be a DISASTER!  Finally wore out, but really liked my fit. (448hrs)
 
2/28/2006 Feeling good about my canopy leading edge fit. Now its time to look at the trailing edge. I don't have that wild curving so it should be a snap. Well holy crap! If I fit the trailing edge where the manual shows to mount it (where the edge stays flat to the fuse..not curled to the canopy itself) the side panels are not going to fit at all! So all that fitting on the leading edge..6 hours worth was wasted. The manual should have me start with the trailing edge and then go to the leading edge. Instead it says to fit the leading edge, go to the trailing edge next, then fit the side panels. O well.....life in paradise. (450hrs)

 

3/2/2006  Well after walking about 100 laps around the canopy, I've decided that I don't need to recut the leading edge. The canopy is a bubble, and the deeper I cut it, the larger the leading edge going to be. I dont think I can go any larger. Also after inspecting the side canopy trim pieces, I believe I can trim the inside of the part instead of the outsides as the manual suggest. The part is plenty long. Altho I studied, inspected, measured, temp installed and removed several times, and walked 100 laps around this thing for 4 hours....I'm not counting it as work time.(450hrs)
 

3/19/2006  Got my buddy Ronnie over to help me with the canopy. He sat inside and put pressure up on the inner tube while I drilled the holes around the frame. No problems. Then I trial fit, about 20 times, cut the back of the canopy and drilled for the rear trim piece. Trial fitted some more. I think I'm ready to countersink and rivit. (456hrs)

3/28/2006  Finished drilling aft trim on canopy. Drilled holes in canopy sliders (457hrs)

4/02/06  Started on the Spit early today and worked all day. I'm pooped. Disassembled the canopy. Cut the side trim to fit it. Drilled and mounted the sliders for the canopy on the fuse. Cut the port slider and fitted to the door. Painted all the trim flat black. That's it. All day! Now I still have to assemble the whole thing, trial fit, rivet and install. But that will be next week. Headed to Sun-N-Fun Tuesday! (467hrs.)

4/10/2006  Returned home from Sun-N-Fun yesterday. Really enjoyed the activities and the show. Met lots of fine folks playing with airplanes. Got back on the canopy tonight. Clecoe'd the trim back on and still trial fitting canopy. Trimmed the sides some, but not finished. Did discover a good way to hold the canopy up on the bench and on the plane. will show in pictures soon. Maybe finish the canopy in a few more hours. (468.5 hrs)

4/11/2006  Drilled out the front trim of the canopy to 1/8th and countersunk the holes. Cut the front trim at designated spots. Trial fit a couple more times. (470hrs)

 

4/12/2006  Put a few rivets in the front trim of the canopy. Discovered a small problem with the canopy and have emailed Supermarine for help. (471hrs)
 

4/16/2006  Supermarine acknowledged the canopy problem and will be sending me a new one. So all the work on the canopy is down the drain :(  They will be sending me a new one. The problems was it was molded with the right side about 3/4" longer than the left (fore to aft)

6/25/2006    Spent 6 hours on the Spit today. Drilled out the rivets that were in the canopy and removed the metal parts. Cut the new canopy and started remounting the metal parts. Trial fit a hundred times and am still not satisfied with the way its fitting. At least this one is symmetrical. Its a little long on both sides. I can trim more off the front, but its a bubble...the more I trim, the bigger it gets. I'm afraid I might trim it to the point it wont fit inside the windshield frame. Gonna e-mail Supermarine tonight and see what they say. Still will take another day to finish canopy. (477hrs.)

6/29/2006   Spent 6 hours on canopy today. I e-mailed Geoff at Supermarine 5 days ago for some suggestions. Haven't heard a word yet. Even though he assure me he reads his e-mails every day and responds immediately. Must be in another dimension. So I move forward with what I've got. I finished trimming the new canopy and reasonably satisfied with the fit. It just will not fit the way the manual shows it to be trimmed, so I trimmed it for the best fit available. (of course there is that slight chance I'm an idiot and am not doing it right...naaawww) Anyway I had it on at one time and really liked the fit. it slid easy back and forth. but as I tried to perfect the fit, I've really screwed it up. Now it wont slide. the fit is perfect, but I cant get it the plane! So its back to the drawing board and figure what I've changed.  (483hrs)

07/02/2006   Wow...11 hours on the canopy today. It might cross your mind to ask....how the hell does someone spend THAT much time on a canopy?   Beats the hell outa me!!! that's just how much time it has taken so far. I've trial fitted the thing I bet 40 times. Plus I've got to walk around the wing stubs and the nose every time I go to the other side. After all that trial fitting, today I disassembled the whole thing, cleaned up all the holes, dimpled the side pieces, counter sunk the rear and front trim, reassembled, put solid rivets in the rear trim, put half the rivets in the front trim, screwed on the delren sliders (after several trips sanding and filling those things to get the perfect fit and slide) and went to do the final install. buuuttt....it don't slide so good. the delrin sits s little "cocked" when everything is tightened up. My options are to either bend the canopy frame to be more vertical at the bottom, or to sand the delrin so it sits in the aluminum frame square. If I do that, my little mounting screws wont be square with the outer trim. Not much, but some. I think that's the better idea and I'll try to get that done tomorrow. I'm totally wasted tonight and have to stop before I do something really stupid.  (494hrs)

7/04/2004   Well another 6 hrs on the canopy. It should be wore out enough now to start sliding smoother! I'm finally finished with it I think. Still have to install the latch. But the fit is good, and I can slide it back and forth from inside the cockpit, so I guess that's good enough. (500hrs)

10/02/2006  Nothing exciting happening on the Spit. I have taken the motor to the fabricator. Waiting for the new motor mount, intake manifold, and exhaust system. At the moment he has a couple of race cars in his shop and those must go before he has time to mess with my stuff. the tubing is purchased for the manifold, he has chrome molly in stock and the stainless for the exhaust. so its just waiting for the time to do it. And were limited to Sunday's only. That's the only time we can do it together. I've just tinkered with the oil cooler mounts, canopy latch, cabin heating system, brakes lines, gauges, ECS and the EM2. Spent most of my time on combat planes. but that's about to run out. As soon as I get my engine back it will be lots of time makin' that work right!

 

11/16/2006  trial fit, drilled holes,3/32 and 1/8th for the port wing fairings. (504 hrs)

11/17/2006   Dimpled and etch primed 3 of the 5 fairings. (506.5 hrs.)

 11/19/2006   Drilled, cleco'd, re-drilled, cleaned, dimpled, fit and re-fit, starboard wing fairing. I looked closely at Ted's site at his pics of these fairings and noticed on the port side it didn't line up with the vertical body line. My guess is he started at the front since I started there on my first trial fin and had the same results. So I started with the metal right behind the trailing edge. I would give a part # but the part#'s don't match my manual anyway, so who knows which one is right. This turned out to be the right place to start since everything just kinda came together. It all fit very well. its ready to rivet except the front pieces and I'll wait to do those after I install the top wing stub skin.  (510.5hrs)

1/14/2007  Installed left and right wing fairings.  Cleaned rudder stabalizer and elevator for pro bond.  Installed pro bond, sand off pro bond, reinstall pro bond, sand again.  (520.5 hrs)

4/15/2006  Mashed in the solid rivits in the canopy sides. re-trimed the left stab fairing. Drilled holes and mounted, and primed. (524.5 hrs)

4/22/2007  Trimmed, drilled, trial fit, and final fit starboard stabilizer fairing. (526.5hrs)

4/25/2007  Cut hole in firewall, installed wiring harness through tube and installed solenoid.  A neat little trick I learned from another builder, that wiring harness tube is a handicap rail cut to fit.  (527.5 hrs)

6/15/07   Mounted strip behind nose cowl. Cut exhaust openings at least 15 times. trial fit same. Clecoed nose together. Had to shorten motor mount nose about one inch for the lower cowl to fit. Otherwise would have to lengthen the fiberglass. Will make all this fit with clecoes before riveting. (533.5hrs)

6/18/2007  Continuing small cuts in fiberglass cowling around engine compartment. Lots of small cuts and lots of sanding to get the fit I want. My kit came with the parts for the Jabaru (as I requested) and I'm adapting them to fit around the 20B. I've now decided to install the radiator in the scoop itself and plumb it up to the engine. So before I can build the proper brackets I will completely install the nose pieces. pics comin' soon. (535.5hrs)

6/21/07  Cut the belly nose piece for air inlet through scoop. test fitted about 30 times. pulled off the nose piece, drilled it 1/8th, removed aluminum and cleaned up holes, primed, countersunk holes in fiberglass, and squeezed in lots of rivets. Wish I had a pneumatic riveter before I finished this little job. (541.5hrs)

 6/28/2007 Finely re installed the passenger foot rest. Dis-assembled the entire firewall forward to finish the radiator mount, and injector bosses. Also having to change the exhaust just a bit. installed the nuts for the upper and lower cowl to bolt to. Installed all the nuts on the nose cone. That consisted of drilling 1/32 and fitting to make sure everything lines up. re drilling 1/8th, cleaning, dimpling, and riveting. (548hrs)

8/14/2007  Haven't updated the web page in a bit, but have been working on the Spit (between drag racing and Combat planes) Got the motor mount powder coated and installed in the plane. Installed all the oil pan studs in the 20B and installed the mount plate and oil pan. Installed the block in plane. Sent the headers off to get jet coated. Installed all the lock nuts in the nose parts, drilled and counter sunk all the mounting holes for the tapered washers. Installed all the fiberglass nose parts and made the final cuts. It looks bad ass! (558 hrs.)

08/23/2007  Spent all day on the left motor hatch. My kit came with parts to install the Jabaru, so I had to do lots of modification to fit the Mazda engine. Once again this small panel looks like a no brainer and I'll knock it out in a couple of hours. Course I guess I could just nail it up there and it would be done in a couple of hours. Buuuut...I'm pretty picky on how I want it...so it took all day. And after I thought I was finished, I still want to install a couple more stiffeners. But I did cut, bend, drill, re-drill, dimple, etch, prime. trial fit, and trial fit, installed quick fasteners, install hinge, and sit back and admire my work. (566 hrs)

9/9/2007  Spent all day on the right side engine cowl. Cut, trimmed, and drilled. Partially drilled 18th. Bend angle curves to match fuse curves. Temp installed hinge. Cut the damn exhaust hole 3/16th wider that the left side. So, since I don't like the little bend I put in the left side, I think Ill trim it off 3/16th and they will match. Then I'll put a stiffener under both sides. Still lack 1/2 a day just to finish up the right side. (574hrs)